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Dick Tracy goes up against a villain who robs banks using a nerve gas.
This movie is part of the collection: Feature Films
Director: John Rawlins
Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures Inc.
Audio/Visual: sound, black and white
Keywords: Dick Tracy; Crime; Detective
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
|Movie Files||MPEG2||Ogg Video||512Kb MPEG4|
|Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome||
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|Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome||
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This isn't as well-made as modern comic book movies I've seen, but the screenplay is on par. It's fast-paced with plenty of action. Ralph Byrd, a C grade actor who played Tracy in the 1937 movie serial, Dick Tracy, plays him here. Anne Gwynne (Killer Dill) plays Tess Trueheart. Besides Boris Karloff, I recognized two other odd looking character actors in this: Skelton Knaggs (Terror by Night) who plays X-Ray, and Milton Parsons (Dark Alibi) as Dr. A. Tomic. I liked the silly names for characters, and places (Wood Plastics).
Directing wasn't all it could be. Blocking in the bank robbery scene was muffed. Supposedly, people are frozen in place (Freeze-frame is the special effect used several times in the movie.) depending on their proximity to the source of a paralyzing gas, but I could see people far in the background being frozen at the same time as those in the foreground in a couple of shots. Not long afterward, in the hospital scene, Tess positively identifies a bank robbery suspect though his face is completely wrapped in bandages.
I downloaded the 270MB 512Kb MPEG4 file. Video and audio quality were Ok.
Subject: Boris Karloff!!!
Not having read the reviews I was totally surprised by seeing Boris Karloff in this movie. And yes, he is NOT a mad scientist! He is absolutely wonderful as "Gruesome", as ruthless as he can be. And the nerve gas? Well, Dick Tracy goes sci fi, why not! Maybe a bit too simple, but I enjoyed it. The actor who played Dick Tracy was not on the level of his predecessor.
Subject: One of the good B's
Karloff gives a fine performance here, everyone does really except Ralph Byrd. There are some genuinely chilling moments and all-in-all this is the best of the B-movie Dick Tracys.
gentle ben -
Subject: Standard B-Movie fare
Boris Karloff in the flesh as a villain (Gruesome), rather than wearing mountains of makeup, is the only thing remotely interesting about this film. There are the standard Chester Gould character names, Professor A. Tomic and his assistant professor I.M. Learned, X-ray, Dr. Lee Thal, Tess Truehart (Dick's girlfriend), and Melody Fiske (a piano player gone bad).
There is a bit more comedy in this film than in Dick Tracy's Dilemma, but it can't save the story. The ending is especially inane with Dick allowing himself to be rendered unconscious and immobile and taken away unarmed by the heavies. He almost gets fired for that mistake.
The characters include a Professor A. Tomic and his assistant I. M. Learned; there is also a taxidermy firm called Y Stuffham.
Such indicates the level of this hokum which is saved from total disaster only by Karloff.